Rocco’s Keto Comfort Food Diet

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Why Brains Love Keto

Roccos Keto Comfort Food Diet by Rocco DiSpirito

One advantage of the keto diet that doesnt get enough credit is that you start to feel a lot better not just physically but also mentally, says DiSpirito.

When I started on my keto diet, I felt more alert and focused than usual. It was very noticeable. And I often hear from clients that their moods are elevated, particularly compared to other diets that left them irritable and depressed.

Its more than just a little boost too. Internationally known neurologist and author David Perlmutter, M.D., notes that going keto triggers a surge in brain activity, even stimulating the growth of new brain pathways. Its like super fuel for your brain, he says.

Theres also evidence that a keto diet increases the production of a neurotransmitter called GABAthat helps alleviate anxiety and depression, notes womens health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. Turns out, thats basically how calming drugs like Xanax and Valium work!

As DiSpirito puts it, Your brain is happier on keto. You have a diet that, biochemically, helps improve your mood and energy. On top of that, you get to eat so many feel-good foods that give you a psychological lift. Usually we associate a diet with misery, but keto comfort foods make you feel better than you would eating any other way. Youll smile all the way to your happy weight!

Mama’s Keto Meatballs With Zucchini Noodles

Serves 6 | Prep Time: 30 mins. Cook time: 1½ hours

“This dish is a keto comfort food version of my mothers signature dish, fondly known as Mamas Meatballs,” DiSpirito said in his book. “While you wont find them on a mound of begging-to-be-twirled spaghetti, youll still be wowed by their full-on flavor atop zoodles.”

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, crushed through a press 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion ¾ teaspoon tomato paste Red pepper flakes Celtic sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 can tomato puree ½ can crushed tomatoes ¼ cup chicken stock, 1½ cups water ¹ teaspoon liquid stevia

Ingredients for Meatballs Olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray ¹ cup chicken stock¼ yellow onion, roughly chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled but whole ½ pound ground beef ½ pound ground pork ½ pound ground veal ¹ cup crushed herbed parmesan crisps or store-bought parmesan crisps 2 large eggs ¼ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Ingredients for Meatballs 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound store-bought zucchini noodles Celtic sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

TIP: To shave over an hour off the cooking time, buy and use a good-quality low-carb store-bought marinara such as Raos instead of the homemade.

Hot Crispy Keto Fried Chicken

On a diet that boosts dietary fat intake, DiSpirito says it’s important to use methods like flash-frying to ensure that the shorter frying time will reduce the amount of fat absorbed in the food.

Cook time: 15 minutes 15 minutes Servings: 4

Grapeseed oil , for flash-frying1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoon adobo seasoning Celtic sea salt2 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika


Pour 2 inches of oil into a large heavy pot that has at least a 6-quart capacity and clip a deep-frying thermometer to the side of the pot and be sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot.

Over medium heat, bring the oil temperature to 400 degrees.

Cut each chicken thigh into 4 or 5 even-sized chunks. Arrange all the chunks on a microwave-safe plate and season all over with teaspoon of the adobo seasoning, salt, and some pepper.

Place the plate in the microwave and cook for 1 minute 30 seconds. Remove the plate and turn each piece of chicken over. Microwave again until the chunks are just cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Let the chicken cool to room temperature.

Set up a dredging station: Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat with a fork until just foamy, about 1 minute. In a separate wide and shallow bowl or a cake pan, combine the almond flour, paprika, and remaining 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning and mix thoroughly.

Tips for perfectly crisp Keto Fried Chicken

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Roccos Keto Comfort Food Diet

Rocco DiSpirito shares keto comfort food recipes in 2020


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The #1 New York Times bestselling author and celebrity chef shows you how to lose weight by eating gourmet, keto versions of the comfort foods you love.Rocco DiSpirito has made a career out of transforming people’s lives without sacrificing taste. Now, Rocco tackles the ketogenic diet with the most effective and delicious version of the diet to date. Using a four-tier program that can deliver up to a pound a day of weight loss, the diet incorporates meal plans and more than eighty of America’s favorite comfort food recipes made over to adhere to keto diet guidelines. You can lose the weight eating the foods you love.After a 3-day keto cleanse, you’ll dive in to a 21-day diet plan, where you’ll burn fat rapidly, control your appetite, achieve optimal health, and enjoy satisfying meals in the process. Recipes like Chocolate Glazed Donuts, Cinnamon Roll Bites, “Mac” and Cheese, Hot Crispy Keto Fried Chicken, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, and Meat Lovers’ Cauliflower Pizza deliver the same flavor with a fraction of the carbs. Rocco also includes a maintenance plan that allows you to eat a wider range of food while still keeping the weight off for long-term success. Loaded withRocco’s signature combination of culinary and nutritional expertise, Rocco’s Keto Comfort Food Diet makes a low-carb, high-fat keto lifestyle possible for everyone.

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The Keto Comfort Food Solution

DiSpirito says clients he coaches get their best results when they keep carbs to 30 grams per day, keep protein portions moderate and get plenty of high-quality fat. For a bonus boost, DiSpirito suggests a late breakfast /brunch since increasing the gap between dinner and breakfast has been shown to trigger joy-boosting hormonal shifts. To stay well hydrated, sip plenty of water, tea and coffee. As always, get a doctors okay to try any new plan.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Serves 12 | Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 25 mins.

“What could be a more comforting sweet treat than a large cookie like the ones you see at the mall?” DiSpirito said in his book. “Here it is… my version of those iconic cookies craved by cookie lovers everywhere. And yes, you can eat it and stay in fat-burning ketosis!”

Ingredients 1 stick unsalted grass-fed butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for the skillet ¼ cup brown sugar erythritol ¼ cup granulated erythritol 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1½ cups almond flour 1 cup stevia-sweetened dark chocolate baking chips

Directions1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the 1 tablespoon butter.2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar erythritol, and granulated erythritol until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.3. Add the baking soda and almond flour and mix until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine using a rubber spatula.4. Pat the cookie dough into the skillet and bake until golden brown and the middle is almost set, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

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Keto Comfort Food Sample Day

Brunch Bake 2 eggs in a halved avocado 12 to 15 min. at 425 degrees Fahrenheit season and enjoy with crispy bacon and an optional side salad drizzled with olive oil vinaigrette.

Snack Divide cup shredded Parmesan in 3 mounds on a lined sheet bake at 400°F until edges brown, 6 to 8 min. cool and dip in no-sugaradded marinara sauce.

Dinner Layer a thick burger with toppings like cheese, bacon, sautéed veggies, avocado, mayo and/or mustard serve in lettuce with a side of pickles or sautéed green beans.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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